home > article > One Badass Cookie - Ginger Molasses Cookie
- by Nancy, November 07, 2008
Photo credit: my son, Max, one badass photographer.
So what’s a badass cookie? It’s a cookie that WORKS. It always comes out right, tastes great and can stand up to any fancier dessert. Friends and family beg you for it because it’s so good they haven’t stopped craving it since you last made it. It can be made in a big batch and frozen to bake off in a pinch, something I depended on as a former pastry chef who survived the chaos of Manhattan’s professional kitchens. It makes a great gift and an impression. And more than that, it’s a cookie that shrugs off this goody-two shoes image that Laura and I have garnered from each of us having written a book adoring of our fabulous grandmothers. Nothing against grandma and her own badass cookies by the way, (some of our handed-down recipes will appear here) but we’re just staking out some territory that’s a better fit for our less than perfect, not exactly nostalgic lifestyles and aprons without ruffles, if we’re wearing aprons at all. Hey, Laura, you got an apron? I do but I never put it on. I’m not sure where it is. Probably at the bottom of that mountain of undone laundry . . . It’s solid black as I remember. Matches my vintage 80’s Schott leather jacket, what can I say?
Read on for more photos and the badass cookie tip of the week. Does it work? You bet your badass it does.
Badass Ginger Molasses Cookies
Yields approximately two 24” long x 3” diameter logs of cookie dough that can be sliced into approximately 2 - 3 dozen giant cookies depending on thickness.
Note: Do not divide this recipe as it does not work well if divided. It may seem like a lot, but it is well worth the trouble in flavor and texture and it freezes well. Tips are given below for handling the large quantity. You will need a mixing bowl or other container that can hold a dough containing 8 cups of flour. I like my stainless steel one with its 2 gallon capacity, and it’s a work horse, especially for entertaining.
3 cups unsalted, sweet butter (1 1/2 pounds, or 6 sticks) , softened to room temperature
4 cups white sugar
1 cup molasses (for thicker cookies, use robust unsulphured blackstrap molasses, for thinner, use unsulphured light, cooking, or fancy molasses)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 cups all purpose white flour
2 T. plus 2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
4 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. ground cloves (this may be increased up to double the amount if you are a clove lover)
4 t. ground ginger
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped (available at most supermarkets that carry dried and candied fruit)
Turbinado sugar, or any large crystal sugar for baking
1. Sift or whisk dry ingredients together (except sugar and crystallized ginger) and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or by hand with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light. Add molasses and crystallized ginger and mix to incorporate.
3. Add eggs a little at a time, in about four or more additions, stopping often to scrape down the bowl. Add more egg only when the egg that has been added is incorporated fully.
4. To accommodate the large quantity of dough in home kitchens, remove mixture from the stand mixer bowl and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour all at once and gently mix it in. Do not over-mix. Spread dough onto sheet pans (unless you have a refrigerator that has room for the large bowl) and refrigerate several hours or overnight it until it is firm enough to roll into logs for freezing. (You can bake off the dough before freezing it, but it will yield cookies with a slightly different look and texture.)
5. When it is firm enough to handle, roll the dough in plastic wrap into thick (approximately 3” in diameter) logs and freeze them, several hours or overnight.
6. To bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees for convection, 350 degrees for still oven. Slice the cookie logs into thick slices (approximately 2” slices or more) and dredge one side in large crystal sugar for baking. Bake cookies 3 inches apart until set, about 15 - 20 minutes. Do not over-bake or the cookies will be crunchy instead of chewy. Cool on sheet pans a minute or so until the cookies can be moved without damaging their shape and then cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Store in airtight container.
Tip: Don’t over-mix your cookie dough or gluten will form and make the dough tough. For tender cookies, always use the lowest speed on an electric stand mixer when adding flour and turn off the mixer to hand mix in the last bit of flour. If mixing by hand, stir only until the flour is incorporated and no more.
I like to slice the logs with my chef’s knife on a cutting board.
These silpat nonstick baking sheets are great. The cookies slide off them and the cookie sheets stay clean underneath. You can buy them here.
A big cooling rack is another wonderful addition to any kitchen. I bought mine from this fabulous kitchen ware store.
So what are you waiting for? Whip ‘em up! And check back here weekly for more Badass Cookie recipes.
Got a badass cookie recipe for us? Send it in using the comments link above and we’ll test it and see if it’s badass enough to appear as a reader’s recipe in future One Badass Cookie posts.